Relief pitcher Adenson Verastegui walked a pair of batters with the bases loaded in the 11th inning Sunday, which proved to be the different in the West Michigan Whitecaps’ 5-3 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts Sunday in front of 7,602 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps dropped to 35-25 on the season. They are now in third place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division first-half standings, a game behind first-place South Bend and a half-game behind second-place Lake County.
The top two teams in the division at the end of the first half qualify for September’s postseason playoffs. The Whitecaps have seven games remaining in the first half.
The Whitecaps jumped out to an early lead with single runs in the first and second innings, but the Lugnuts answered with two runs in the fourth inning to tie the game 2-2.
Lansing took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Guillotte. In the sixth, West Michigan’s Cam Gibson tripled to the left-center field gap and scored on a throwing error by shortstop JC Cardenas to tie the game at 3-3.
The score stayed the same until the 11th, when Verastegui labored through a difficult frame. The inning began with a one-out infield single by Lansing’s Gunnar Heidt. The rest of the rally took place with two outs, with a single and a walk to load the bases. Verastegui then issued two more free passes, to Jake Thomas and Guillotte, to force in the winning runs in the contest.
David Gonzalez led the Whitecaps at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. The last 17 Whitecaps batters were retired consecutively to end the afternoon.